Jun 30 2011

Microsoft BizSpark

In the era of Apple fanboys and opinionated Ruby on Rails developers, it might not be cool to use Microsoft tools and products. It seems that startup will tend to use Ruby over .NET, Google Docs instead of Microsoft Office, OS X or Ubuntu in lieu of Windows. I’ve never been dogmatic about the technology I use. I’m a pragmatic programmer and the fact of the matter is that a large number of computer users still rely on Microsoft products. In the financial industry, Excel spreadsheets are traded like baseball cards. Microsoft realizes that they are not the cool kids in the block, at least amongst Silicon Valley startups, and perhaps that is why the started the Microsoft BizSpark program.

I’ve been one to always chase my customers and users, not trends and fads. That is why, I’ve been a huge fan of Microsoft DreamSpark and Microsoft BizSpark. Microsoft BizSpark is a program that allows small startups have access to many of its products, frameworks, tools, and resources for free.

Microsoft BizSpark Software Download

Microsoft BizSpark Software Download

Through BizSpark you can get access to applications such as Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Office for Mac 2011, Microsoft Windows 3.1 through Windows Vista, and much more for free. There is no need for your CTO to look for serial numbers for Windows Server 2008 on Google and warez sites. BizSpark gives you legit licenses to key Microsoft products.

I’m a huge fan of any company that supports startups and software developers in general. I can’t say enough nice things about Microsoft BizSpark, even if they paid me. And not, they didn’t pay me but I am a proud member. I only wish that the Microsoft BizSpark program also included hardware.


Mar 28 2011

Access Drives From Remote Windows Computers

when you have to share documents between two different Windows machine, you can either use an FTP site, email documents around, or use a shared folder. I hate all of the above options, especially when I am the administrator to both machines and I am currently logged into both computers. In the case where you are administrator to both machines, you can just open Windows Explorer and type the following to get access to the whole C:\ drive.

\\REMOTE-COMPUTER\c$\

Just replace REMOTE-COMPUTER with the actual name of the remote computer you are trying to connect.

I was surprised that a senior developer didn’t know this so I thought I share it with other folks.


Oct 27 2010

Random Thoughts October 2010

No explanation required, here are some random thoughts that occurred to me during the past month. These ideas were either to long to force into 140 character limit of Twitter but not fully develop to belong on their own post.

In the computer world, Bill Gates will always be remembered for Windows and the blue screen of death. Now that he has moved his attention to education and health care such as vaccines, a blue screen of death in these fields will can really cause someone dying.

If your enemies enemies are your friends, then it is to Microsoft’s interest to see Facebook get into the search space. It makes sense that Microsoft would pay a ridiculous amount of money for the tiniest fraction of Facebook just to see Facebook’s value go through the roof and branch into search, ads, mobile, etc.

I just started noticing people I follow on Twitter start using a new service to take and share their pictures taken from a mobile device. There are already a ton of other services such as Twitpic, Facebook, Flickr, Mobile Me, etc. I consider myself an early adopter, but I think there is a new category of adopter, the “I’ll try everything adopter.” There is a bunch of folks that suffer from the New and Shiny Syndrome where they must try every single new product or service they hear about. They all rave how much better that new product is on Facebook and Twitter for a week and then the herd moves on to the next new and shiny thing.

Every year there are a few companies that everybody wants to work for. It has been reported in many news outlet that there is a micro-brain drain at Google as engineers are migrating to Facebook. Zynga has also seen a tremendous growth and has been attracting talented developers, designers, and engineers. Both Facebook and Zynga are already large establish companies. If you are looking for the next breakout company I think you should look into Second Market. Second Market is building a marketplace for employee stock to private companies, Second Market is building a new market and perhaps a new industry. Second Market is has the potential to eventual be at a level to create or move markets.

Microsoft is anywhere between 5-10 years behind current market leaders in social, search, mobile, internet television, digital music, etc. They only consumer technology that they have a leg up on the competition is gaming with its XBox console system. As Microsoft keeps missing each industry boat in the consumer space, Microsoft more and more starts to resemble a company that only sells to large companies. For example, it took Microsoft a long time to get the security in Windows OS right (from XP to Vista to Windows 7) and all along the missed the mobile as a platform.

Twitter and Facebook need to come out with a year-end zeitgist for 2010. Google has been releasing zeitgists for each year since 2001, see the Google Zeitgist Archives. From Twitter I want to know what event was the most tweeted about, what was the hottest trending topic for the year, and a graph of the number of tweets throughout the year. From Facebook I want to know how many likes does it take to reach the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop, who do they sell private personal data to the most, if they fixed the broken fence that let out all those sad malnourished cows.